Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High-tech regenerative life support units

Date:
December 10, 2013
Source:
Ghent University
Summary:
A research team is supporting the European Space Agency (ESA) with the development of the MELiSSA project. The driving element of MELiSSA is the recovery of food, water and oxygen from waste, carbon dioxide and breath condensate through the development of technology for long-term manned space missions. Without recycling, an estimated 30 tonnes of supplies would be required to sustain a manned Mars mission.

Research teams at Ghent University of the Centre of Excellence Food2Know are supporting the European Space Agency (ESA) with the development of the MELiSSA project (http://ecls.esa.int/ecls/?p=melissa). The driving element of MELiSSA is the recovery of food, water and oxygen from waste, carbon dioxide and breath condensate through the development of technology for long-term manned space missions. Without recycling, an estimated 30 tonnes of supplies would be required to sustain a manned Mars mission.

Ghent University researchers are working along the full path of the loop: from ultra-safe recovery of nutrients from the waste to the sophisticated use of the nutrients to grow food, suitable for space conditions.

Here on earth, plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and provide clean air to breath. In addition they purify the water they extract from the soil and evaporate clean water into the air. This unique combination of properties of plants turn them into ideal partners in space where they can be grown in specialized growing chambers. To understand how plants are able to perform their cleaning activities and how this could optimized for use in space is an important challenge which could also generate vital knowledge for applications on earth.

Resource recovery from waste is commonly not yet applied on Earth, as water and nutrients are still amply available, mostly in the developed world. Nevertheless, the demand side grows fastly with booming population growth and urbanization, while the supply side is more endangered with increasing water scarcity due to global change, limited phosphorus reserves and vast amounts of energy required for nitrogen production. Safely and robustly closing the loop is a prerequisite for space missions, and will be a crucial step for a global sustainable society of the future.

"With the ongoing climate change and increasing environmental problems, these new technologies can also be applicable here on Earth," says Prof. Benedikt Sas from the Centre of Excellence Food2Know. The gained knowledge could be used to start growing food for our growing population in areas on Earth which currently are not suitable for food production. Prof. Sas continues "also companies on Earth can benefit from the space research. For instance, new energy efficient light systems can be developed and commercialized for growing plants in green houses." Research on the recovery of nutrients from waste will be covered by prof. Siegfried Vlaeminck, Prof. Arne Verliefde and Prof. Nico Boon while research in crop cultivation will be covered by Prof. Danny Geelen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ghent University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ghent University. "High-tech regenerative life support units." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091252.htm>.
Ghent University. (2013, December 10). High-tech regenerative life support units. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091252.htm
Ghent University. "High-tech regenerative life support units." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131210091252.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Tiny Satellites, Like The One Tossed From ISS, On The Rise

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) The Chasqui I, hand-delivered into orbit by a Russian cosmonaut, is one of hundreds of small satellites set to go up in the next few years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

This Week @ NASA, August 15, 2014

NASA (Aug. 15, 2014) Carbon Observatory’s First Data, ATV-5 Delivers Cargo, Cygnus Departs Station and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins